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Apidologie

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Diel nectar secretion rhythm in squash (Cucurbita pepo) and its relation with pollinator activity

  • Andrea A. Edge
  • Byron N. van Nest
  • Jennifer N. Johnson
  • Samara N. Miller
  • Nick Naeger
  • Sam D. Boyd
  • Darrell MooreEmail author
Original article

Abstract

Most studies of foraging behavior in bees have been performed under artificial conditions. One highly neglected area is the daily nectar secretion rhythm in flowers including how nectar properties may vary with time of day. As a first step in understanding the connections between forager behavior and nectar presentation under more natural conditions, we examined nectar secretion patterns in flowers of the squash Cucurbita pepo. Under greenhouse conditions, squash flowers exhibit consistent diel changes in nectar volume and concentration through anthesis. These temporal patterns are robust, persisting under field conditions as well as simulated drought conditions in the greenhouse. In the presence of active pollinators, diel patterns are evident but with highly variable, severely reduced volumes. The potential consequences of these factors for pollinator behavior are discussed.

Keywords

bees foraging nectar pollinators behavior 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Huijing Sun, Caleb Paquette, Curt Gill, Joanna Magner, and Aprele Fitzgerald for valuable assistance with the greenhouse and 2008 field experiments. We very much appreciate the generosity of the ETSU Kingsport Campus for providing garden space and support for the 2008 field studies and Thomas Jones and Allison Mains for garden space and support at their farm in 2009. Financial support was provided by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Research Initiative, CSREES #2006-35302-17278 (DM).

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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB-AGIB and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea A. Edge
    • 1
  • Byron N. van Nest
    • 1
  • Jennifer N. Johnson
    • 1
  • Samara N. Miller
    • 1
  • Nick Naeger
    • 2
  • Sam D. Boyd
    • 1
  • Darrell Moore
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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